Court’s Decision Remains

By Vasinatta Yama – EM TV News, Port Moresby

A quick decision was made today on a slip rule application by the Prime Minister’s lawyer, Tiffany Twivey.

The Supreme Court decision was handed down by a three-man bench comprising of Justice Collin Makail, Justice Derek Hartshorn, and Justice Don Sawong.

The submission was made in the morning and was refused this afternoon.

At 9am Tiffany Twivey argued that a Supreme Court decision that was handed down last month regarding Finance Minister, James Marape, was made outside of the submissions that they filed.

However, the court said she should have argued this fact at the time the decision was made.

The decision was made by the same judges that removed the stay order of the warrant of arrest of Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, Finance Minister, James Marape, Attorney General, Ano Pala, and others alleged to have been involved in fraudulent payments of legal bills to private law firm, Paraka Lawyers.

However, the Prime Minister was exempted, as there is still an interim injunction in place in a proceeding that questioned the validity of his warrant of arrest, obtained in June 2014.

Marape then started proceedings in the National Court in order for Paraka Lawyers to be taxed on the legal bills paid for services rendered to the state.

O’Neill and Marape sought the order on the basis that the court – in the taxation proceeding – had not yet determined that the payments to Paraka Lawyers were fraudulent, therefore they should not be arrested until this occurs.

When the orders were refused by Justice Ere Kariko at the National Court, both then appealed before the three-man bench.

However, the same judges refused the order stating that it does not deal with the substantive issues; therefore, the interim injunctions sought cannot be granted.

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